2019: A year in cricket to savour for the ages
This year's cricketing action has truly been a riveting one. Be it in the domestic circuit or the international arena, the fans were completely enthralled by the cricketers. 2019 has witnessed the resurgence of the West Indies, the retirement of some cricketing legends, shattering of numerous records, a thrill-a-minute Indian Premier League (IPL) and most importanty the most exciting World Cup till date.
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It has been heartening to see the resurgence of the West Indies. After slipping in the rankings and playing the World Cup qualifiers, the Windies have done well to come back stronger. They won a home Test series against England and are now starting to become a dominant force in the limited-overs format as well. It would be nice to see if the West Indies can punch above their weight in the coming years under the newly appointed skipper Kieron Pollard.
The 2019 IPL promised to be another fascinating one. Mumbai Indians held their nerve to seal a one-run victory over Chennai Super Kings. Skipper Rohit Sharma helped Mumbai register its fourth IPL title.
However, the most anticipated event of this year was the World Cup. Many experts expected hosts England and India to reach the finals. But a shocking batting performance by India against New Zealand in the semi-finals had resulted in an 18-run loss. So the final face-off was between the Kiwis and English. The final played at the Lord's turned out to be one of the most exciting matches over the history of its game. With both the match and the super-over being tied, England managed to beat New Zealand based on boundary count. It was indeed a heartbreaking loss for the Kiwis.
2019 also saw the retirement of two great South African legends - Hashim Amla and Dale Steyn. Amla was the fulcrum of the South African batting line-up who was capable of blunting bowling attacks and testing spells by batting for long periods of time. Steyn, on the other hand, spearheaded the bowling and always prised out batsmen with his pace and swing. Both of them had stellar careers and their absence has left a deep hole in the team.
But truly speaking, the year 2019 definitely belonged to Rohit Sharma. In ODIs, Rohit has scored 1490 runs with seven hundreds (five in the World Cup) and at a stupendous average of 57.31. He was promoted to open the batting in Tests and it worked wonders to the team. Rohit Sharma scored an impressive 529 runs in his debut series as an opener against South Africa. Given all that we have witnessed, for a cricket fan, 2019 has been a year to savour for ages.Published 29 Dec 2019, 13:42 IST